Poland’s new Transatlantyk Festival, which starts today, is setting out to claim new ground, according to its founder, Hollywood composer Jan Kaczmarek, a native son of Poznan, where the event is set.
In keeping with Kaczmarek’s background, the fest hosts a competish for film scoring, with $20,000 going to young composer of the year and $10,000 for instant composition, in which entrants will improvise a soundtrack on the spot for a short piece of film.
“I believe in the power of instinct,” said Kaczmarek. “Especially when adrenaline is high, as you know it is in Hollywood.”
With more than 150 pics screening, plus concerts, workshops and hefty prizes on offer, fest also aims to raise consciousness about important social problems and environmental issues, Kaczmarek said.
Fest has sections on films relating to the Arab Spring, German and Scandinavian film, culinary cinema, music and ecology plus docus and vintage American B movies. It adds teach-ins by producers Richard Gladstein and Michael Phillips, composer Peter Golub and 17 other Polish and international industry vets.
Fest is built around a new film funding org, the Rozbitek Institute, which aims to provide a fresh approach for indie filmmakers in the region, who until now have been dependent on state-sponsored coin or television, explained Kaczmarek.
Having raised $2 million for the fest, with sponsors in 16 countries, it’s clear he’s found a promising niche.
Ryszard Grobelny, mayor of Poznan, a key backer, said, “Transatlantyk constitutes a magnet attracting new artistic talents, and teaches how to achieve success even in such difficult times.” The fest closes Aug. 13.